Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Endangered and protected, the Hawaiian Nene is the state bird and the rarest species of goose in the world—not the main dish at a feast as it was in the old days. Thanks to protected status, the big bird has made a comeback in recent decades.
Best places to see the nene: On Maui, keep an eye peeled while drive up to the summit of Haleakala National park, and also when hiking to the Koloa Cabin within the crater. On the Big Island of Hawaii, the nene thrives on the arid slopes of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, off Hilina Pali Road (where you are advised to drive slowly). The best place on Kauai is Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, where the geese flutter in late afternoons amongst a host of other Hawaiian critters that inhabit the air and the seas just off the point that holds the historic lighthouse.